Path to PADI Course Director

When considering the PADI Course Director rating, it’s helpful first to take a look at what it’s not: It’s not the ultimate, or even an appropriate, goal for every dive professional. Nor is it a short-term goal you decide to earn simply for personal betterment, edification or prestige.


What it is is an essential qualification for those with the desire, the know-how and a plan to work in tandem with PADI Instructor Development Centers and Resorts and train PADI Instructors. It is a major commitment to the dive industry and, most importantly, to yourself.

To become a Course Director you must earn a spot in a Course Director Training Course through a competitive application process that examines your experience and training goals. Success demands preparation and advanced planning. Course Director applicants are expected to present a realistic business plan, developed in cooperation, and integrated, with a PADI Instructor Development Center or Resort. The plan outlines the specifics of marketing and implementing of new instructor training. PADI Master Instructors with solid teaching experience, a great continuing education ratio, and who have assisted with several IDCs may be ready to apply. Other requirements are EFR Instructor Trainer, at least 250 logged dives and demonstrated commitment to Project AWARE.

The current CDTC application lists all the details and resides, along with a host of support materials (including a comprehensive and informative online presentation) on the PADI Pros’ Site.

Applications approved, Course Director candidates start training by completing several presentations, knowledge reviews and a Course Director-level exam on PADI Systems, Standards and Procedures online. The CDTC itself lasts for nine days and includes presentations on organizing and promoting instructor development. Hands-on workshops, in classroom, confined water and open water, focus on evaluation training, professional development and counselling techniques. Candidates create and build professional, and personal, relationships that last lifetimes.


Those PADI Course Directors who successfully complete the CDTC join an elite group of instructor trainers. Through their PADI Instructor Development Courses (IDCs) and other instructor-level training, they earn a place within the ranks of the scuba diving industry’s most influential leaders and role models. And while it’s still not for everyone, this is the most respected professional rating in recreational scuba diving.

Log on to the PADI Pros’ Site and read through CDTC Questions and Answers document, then check out the online presentation about what it takes to become a PADI Course Director and download the CDTC Fact Sheet.

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